Web Design 101 – The Basics
web site (website)
A collection of files, grouped under a specific domain name and published on the Internet.
Many people are speaking of web design and its importance for small businesses. It doesn’t happen by chance. Somehow everyone is related to websites in 21st century. According to Econsultancy, 47% of people expect a webpage to load in two seconds or less.
Web design is the process of creating websites. It includes several different aspects, including webpage layout, content production, and graphic design. While the terms “web design” and “web development” are often used interchangeably, web design is technically a subset of the broader category of web development.
Websites are created using a language called HTML. Web designers build webpages using HTML tags that define the content of each page. The layout and appearance of the elements within a webpage are typically defined using CSS, or cascading style sheets. Therefore, most websites include a combination of HTML and CSS that determine how each page will appear in a browser. Some web designers prefer to handle code pages (typing HTML and CSS from scratch), others use editors like Adobe Dreamweaver. This type of editor provides a visual interface for designing the webpage layout and the software automatically generates the corresponding HTML and CSS code. Another popular way to design websites is with a content management system like WordPress in which web designers can get website templates that can be used as a starting point for a new website. Webmasters (the people in charge of maintaining websites) can then add content and customize the layout using a web-based interface. While HTML and CSS are used to design the look and feel of a website, images must be created separately. Therefore, graphic design must overlap with web design, since graphic designers are the ones who create images for use on the Web.
In this second decade of the century, the top competency for web designer is the ability to create and develop visual response to communication problems, including understanding of typography, aesthetics, composition and construction of meaningful images. Also, they must be able to solve any other kind of problem by identifying the given issue, researching, analyzing it, generating a solution, testing it with users and evaluating its outcome. Complementing the focus on the client’s needs, web designers must think like the website’s anticipated audience. They have to foresee what visitor will want to do on the site and establish navigational interfaces in order to facilitate those needs.
Below there’s a list of the most common web designing duties and tasks:
- Understand and discuss the underlying technology—its possibilities and limitations—with clients.
- Translate client needs, content, and branding into structured website concepts.
- Translate projected visitor needs into structured website concepts.
Establish the look and feel of web pages, including typography, graphics, color, layout, and other factors.
- Render design elements from Photoshop, Illustrator, and other visual development environments into usable elements of a working website.
- Lay out web pages and sites using HTML and other web development languages.
- Organize and present content in a readable, well-designed, way, which also is interesting and catchy.
- Effectively participate on a web development team.
- Modify graphics and codes as needed (for instance, when technological incompatibilities arise or when clients’ business models change—as they often do in this business).
When choosing a web designer for your next project, your company should be mindful of the checklist below:
- Bottom line: Ask the designer you’re interested in to provide solid proof of their capabilities. He/she should be showing you case studies or examples of how he/she has approached a problem and how he/she has provided a solution.
- Cost vs. value: Ask your web designer if he/she can provide clear evidence of the value delivered through tangible results. Remember it’s about value, not cost. If you do your research you may find that you’ve been spending money elsewhere without results for quite some time.
- Recognize content is your problem: Use your content to help your customers. Content is everything from your written copy to your images and videos and more. Your web designer should be talking content before art.
- Be realistic: Ask your web designer what tools and services he/her provides to drive measurable traffic to your site. Your designer should understand your sales process so that he/her can provide a solution to making your process more efficient and provide real value through the new website.
In case your company has a need of a new website, MI Group provides a Website Design and Development Service, as well as other eBusiness services. Contact us today! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @MIGroupJamaica @MIGroupUSA @MIGroupBahamas @MyDealsToday